This is one projective test guide which can be useful to students, professionals or researchers who evaluate psychological variables through this type of test, where the subject must make a graphic production, such as the Test of the two people, the Test of the person in the rain, the HTP, the Test of the human figure, the kinetic family, the educational couple, etc..
The indicators have been classified into formal guidelines, also called structural aspects (they indicate how they draw), and content patterns (they indicate what they draw).
The meanings for each indicator are only indicative, so they must be interpreted according to each particular subject. Where says "This indicator means such a thing."must be read"This indicator could mean such a thing.".
Therefore, it is not possible to perform "a direct and unique translation of the signs or indicators that appear in the drawings. We should not expect to find an automatic indicator-meaning relationship but the principle of 'multiple determination' should guide the psychologist in the interpretation of the indicators".
No indicator alone "it is conclusive evidence of its psychological correlate; The configuration of the indicators should be considered more important than any particular sign"Particularly important are the recurrences and convergences between indicators (within the same drawing or in different drawings).
Many of the meanings indicated here are not applicable to graphic productions of very young children. For example, at a certain age the transparencies are normal, not pathological indicators.
Also many of the meanings offered refer to impulses, anxieties and defenses (impulses breed anxieties, and these in turn defenses). Regarding the latter, there are normal or adaptive, and pathological or non-adaptive. A criterion that identifies the pathological defense is when the normal defense is very exacerbated (for example a repression very intense), or when it is failed, that is, it fails (repression is not enough to control impulses or anxieties). A defense against another defense is also pathological.
- 1 Drawing of the person
- 2 Tree drawing
- 3 Drawing of the house
- 4 Content guidelines (Link between people)
- 5 Pathologies: graphic characteristics
Drawing of the person
The drawing of the human figure provides information about the image of oneself, body scheme and sexual identification.
|Indicators and their categories||Definition||Meanings|
|1. HEAD||Center of intellectual and imaginative function.|
|1st. Big||Great in relation to the body.||Intellectualization|
|1 B. Others||Defective expression. Without body. Framed as a portrait. Emphasized (Piccolo).||Isolation (Piccolo).|
|2nd. In cap||Type 'cap' or 'robot' (Piccolo).||Defense: isolation (Piccolo).|
|2b Bristly||Pointed strokes.||Aggressiveness.|
|2 C. Corniform||Shape of horns||Psychosis.|
|2d. Absence||Lack of hair||Psychosis.|
|3rd. Line||Verbal aggression|
|4th. Closed||Defense against voyeurism. Denial as defense (Piccolo).|
|4b Omission||Defense against voyeurism.|
|4c. Wide open||Voyeurism.|
|4d Paranoid look||Paranoid look accent||Isolation.|
|5th. Accentuated||Determination, aggressiveness.|
|6. FACE||Emotional states, social contact, emotions used in contact with the other.|
|6a. Stereotyped smile||Clown type (Piccolo).||Manic Defense (Piccolo).|
|7. NECK||Mediatization between the intellectual and the affective.|
|7a. Presence||Normal neck.||Intellectual control of impulses or action.|
|7b Long||Disproportionately long.||Exacerbation of impulse control. Dissociation.|
Problems related to breathing.
|7c. Absence||There is no neck.||Intellectual impulse control failure. Tendency to action.|
|8a. Featured Superior||Affective and stressed emotions.|
|8b Featured Bottom||Accentuated sexuality.|
|8c. Genital exclusion||Deleted, crossed out genital area.||Secondary repression|
|9. SUPERIOR EXTREMITIES||Yoic resources to operate in reality or to meet needs in the environment.|
|9a. Absence||Genital Guilt Castration fantasies.|
|10. LOWER EXTREMITIES||Support, base, displacement capacity and mobility.|
|11. DRESS||Adaptation to social norms.|
|11a. Chest height pocket||Oral or affective deprivation.|
|11b Belts||Secondary repression|
|11c. Glasses||Dark glasses.||Secondary repression|
|11d Long skirts||Secondary repression|
|12e Formal||Closed clothes, suit, tie, etc. (Piccolo).||Reactive Training|
|12. GENERAL ASPECT|
|12th Clown||Clown figure.||Manic Defense|
|12b Inductive figure||Challenging, bulky, muscular, exhibitionist (even naked), cartoonish, big.||Inductive projective identification as defense (Piccolo). Perversion. In psychotic graphics it can be a defense against psychotizing situations (Piccolo).|
|12c Nakedness||Exhibitionism. Secondary repression failed.|
|12d Childish||Childish appearance of the figure, infantilization.||Secondary repression|
|12d Childish||Childish, friendly and cheerful aspect (in adult drawings) (Piccolo).||Manic defense: denial (of loss) (Piccolo).|
|12e Sexualization||Lack of secondary sexual traits, marked cuts in the|
waist, cut of the figure at genital level or trunk
alone. Emphasis on the head, hair and eyes (Piccolo). Harmonious but not sexual figures, very dressed and 'covered' (little concern for the details of the dress) (Piccolo).
|Fight against repression against exhibitionist tendencies and body eroticism (Piccolo).|
|12f. Harmony||Complete and harmonious human figures, preserved gestalt. Pleasant figures with low sexualization (Piccolo).||Normal repression Given the advanced evolutionary level of this defense, it implies a good organization of the personality and therefore of the body scheme (Piccolo).|
|12g Movement||Rigid figures and alibis in their movements (Piccolo).||Intense repression (Piccolo). Isolation (Piccolo). Reactive training (Piccolo).|
|12h Contents||Poor figures in terms of content (Piccolo).||Intense repression (Piccolo).|
|12i. Depersonalization||Few human attributes.||Isolation (Piccolo).|
|12j. Magical or omnipotent||Large figures with magical powers, basically defensive (against possible attacks), such as God, saints, Batman, Superman, kings, police, boxers, athletes, robots (Piccolo).||Idealization as a schizoid defense (Piccolo). Omnipotent control fantasies (Piccolo). Dissociation as a schizoid defense (ideally good figure as God, or ideally bad as the Devil, or both) (Piccolo).|
|12k Oppositions||Opposite objects that represent for example the good and the bad, the spiritual and the corporal, the affection and the sex, etc. In general, an idealized object and another pejorativized (Piccolo).||Dissociation as a manic defense (Piccolo).|
|12l. Cartoon||Inductive projective identification. Deposit of experiences of ridicule, mockery and strangeness in front of one's own body or that of the opposite sex (Piccolo).|
|13a. Not usual||Start with facial features and then make the oval of the face, etc. (Verthelyi). Starting from the feet (in children it may be normal, as they express their concern for growth and stability) (Verthelyi).||Difficulties with the body scheme (Verthelyi).|
|14 to. Conflict zones||Location of conflict situations in non-conflictive body areas (eg concern about the sexual power displaced in the tie or nose) or in details of clothing (Piccolo).||Displacement as a defense (Piccolo).|
The drawing of the tree provides information about the most unconscious images of itself. Together with the drawing of the house, they show the most latent aspects of personality (Piccolo).
|Indicators and their categories||Definition||Meanings|
|1. CUP||Ideational and fantasy area.|
|1 B. Poor||No content, little foliage (Piccolo).||Isolation (Piccolo).|
|2. BRANCHES||Yoic resources to operate in reality or to|
meet needs in the middle.
|2nd. Open||Double line open at the top.||Poor impulse control.|
|2b On point||Aggression (Piccolo).|
|2 C. Absence||Isolation (Piccolo).|
|2d. Others||Large size, many knots and extended outwards (Piccolo).||Inductive projective identification (outstretched branches express the need to project in the external world and omnipotence) (Piccolo).|
|3. TRUNK||I, yoica fortress, limits I don't-me|
|3rd. Damaged||Footprints of cut branches, etc.||Experience of yoic damage.|
|4. TRUNCO-BRANCHES||Joint between trunk and branches||Mediatization between the intellectual and the affective.|
|4th. Disconnection||Disconnection of the trunk with the branches (Piccolo).||Isolation (Piccolo). Inductive projective identification (Piccolo).|
|5th. Presence||Contact with reality.|
|6. BASE||Baseline (ground).|
|6a. Presence||Contact with reality.|
|6b Absence||Difficulties of contact with reality.|
|7a. Presence||Procreation, productivity, performance. Female Attributes|
|8b Excess||Manic Defense (Piccolo).|
|9. GENERAL ASPECT|
|9a. Lock type||Cup and trunk are configured as a lock.||Oppositionism, negativism. Possible psychosis|
|9b Others||Concern for formal connections, predominance of rounded elements (cup, branch termination), marked limit at ground level (Piccolo).||Reactive training (Piccolo).|
|9b Others||Trees with very impulsive characteristics discordant with previous graphic production, or, on the contrary, excessive detail: meticulous shading of the trunk, drawing of the leaves, general characteristics "heavy" or hardened (Piccolo).||Failure of reactive training (Piccolo)|
The drawing of the house provides information about the image of himself, the mother-filial bond and family relationships.
|Indicators and their categories||Definition||Meanings|
|1st. Top view||Aerial view of the house.||Depreciation of family values.|
|1 B. Back view||Oppositionism|
|1 C. Other||House on a hill, in perspective, especially if they are idealized (castle type) (Piccolo).||Manic Defense (Piccolo).|
|2. CEILING||Ideational, intellectual sphere, fantasies.|
|2b Very big||"House-roof" (Piccolo).||Isolation as a dominant defense (Piccolo).|
|2 C. Roof tiles.||Isolation as an obsessive defense.|
|3. WALLS||Limits me no-me. Yoic strength Judgment of reality.|
|4. OPENINGS||Relations with the external world.|
|4th. Big door||Very dependent.|
|4b Small door||Avoidance of social contact.|
|4c. Door with lock||Paranoid defense. Fear of the failure of the isolation mechanism (Piccolo).|
|4d Window with curtain||Avoidance of social contact.|
|4e. Naked||Without any detail, a simple quadrilateral.||Rudeness in social contact.|
|4f. Accentuated||Specially highlighted.||Oral dependence.|
|4g Absence||Doors and windows that do not exist, are closed or|
located very high (Piccolo).
|5th. With a lot of smoke||Great internal tension|
|5b Deviated smoke||Deviated to one side or another (not vertical).||Permeability to environmental pressures.|
|6. GENERAL ASPECT|
|6a. Poverty||Closed house, poor, isolated, without environment, missing access roads (Piccolo).||Isolation (Piccolo).|
|6b Clishé||Clishés houses (chalet with paths, symmetrical trees, flowers on both sides of the road, etc.) (Piccolo).||Reactive training (Piccolo).|
|6c. Prolixity||Concern for order, proportions, details, etc. (Piccolo).||Reactive training (Piccolo).|
|6d Excessive prolijity||Excessive detail (tiles, pebbles on the roads, fences, etc.) (Piccolo).||Failure of reactive training (Piccolo).|
|6e. Lack of neatness||Dirty-looking houses||Failure of reactive training (Piccolo).|
|6f. Closed||Closed and hermetic houses (Piccolo).||Reactive training (Piccolo).|
|7. CONTEXT||Objects added to the house.|
|7a. Fences||Fenced house, strong type, etc. (Piccolo).||Isolation as a dominant defense (Piccolo).|
Content guidelines (Link between people)
The drawings where links appear between people provide information about the link fantasies and dissociated aspects of the self.
|Indicators and their categories||Definition||Meanings|
|1. DISTANCE||Between the figures. The common thing is that they are next to each other (Verthelyi).|
|1st. Far apart||Human figures far apart, or separated by lines.||Isolation as an obsessive defense. Defense against identity confusion (Verthelyi).|
|1st. Far apart||For example, at opposite ends of the diagonal sheet (Verthelyi).||Link difficulties (Verthelyi). Dissociated and contradictory aspects of personality (Verthelyi).|
|1st. Far apart||Distant human figures representing opposite pairs (eg, demure woman and seductive woman) (Piccolo).||Intense repression Dissociation. The latter can also manifest between the graphic and the verbal. For example, very seductive and exhibitionist figures and scotomization of these characteristics in verbalization (Piccolo).|
|1 B. Very close||Figures fused with a unique outer boundary, figures that appear to be glued to each other, figures included within each other (Verthelyi).||Difficulties in recognizing one's identity (Verthelyi).|
|1 C. Incommunicated||Total omission of communication channels between the two people.||It could be related to a disconnection of the ego from reality (Verthelyi).|
|2. DIFFERENCES||Between the figures.|
|2nd. Opposites||Antithetical human figures regarding exhibitionism (ex: seductive woman and woman dressed and covered) (Piccolo).||Intense repression Dissociation (Piccolo).|
|2nd. Opposites||Antithetical characters of the police-thief, aggressive-impotent type, etc. Opposites can be within the same person (Piccolo).||Isolation, schizoid dissociation as a need to keep hostile and affectionate links apart (Piccolo).|
|2nd. Opposites||A very rigid figure and the other not.||Rigidity denotes the underlying fear aspects in the bond (Verthelyi).|
|2nd. Opposites||Opposite characters: one enriched, with contents, whole, the other broken, impoverished, destroyed (Piccolo).||Dissociation as a manic defense (Piccolo).|
|2b Similar to the subject||One of the figures resembles the subject who draws (by physical appearance, age assigned, etc.)||Identification with the similar figure.|
|2 C. Size||Figures of different sizes (Verthelyi).||Need to express an asymmetric link (Verthelyi).|
|3rd. Same sex||Figures of the same sex, opposite to the subject who draws.||Conflicts of sexual identification (Verthelyi).|
|3b Identical||One is the specular figure of the other (Verthelyi).||Narcissistic fantasies (Verthelyi).|
|4th. First figure||First human figure drawn (Verthelyi).||Preponderant identification (Verthelyi).|
|4b Second figure||Second human figure drawn (Verthelyi).||Dissociated aspects not included in the first figure, or complementary features, etc. (Verthelyi).|
|5. ADDITIONS||Adding objects to the two people or one of them.||They can strengthen the bond (for example, drinking tea); be defensive modalities (for example a dog as an accompanying object), etc. (Verthelyi).|
|6. OMISSIONS||The other person is not drawn.||Severe difficulty in fantasizing a dyadic bond, derived from a problem with identity (Verthelyi).|
Pathologies: graphic characteristics
- Gestalt preserved, harmony, proportion, integration of the parts, realism (psychic integration).
- Complete lines (good differentiation I - not me).
- Sexual and psychological differentiation (good sexual identification. Psychic integration).
- Perspective maintained, front-profile and forward-back differentiation, absence of transparency (adequate logical-formal integration of graphic figures. Achieved development of the functions of contact with reality).
- With preserved gestalt there may be shading, exaggeration of size, omission of parts, confusing areas (conflicts, pathology to be related to areas where they appear).
- Disintegration of the gestalt, fragmented drawing (no psychic integration).
- Emptiness (draw only the outline), open, diffuse lines (lack of differentiation, not me, failure of reality judgment.
- Compulsive need to fill out (restitution).
- Grotesque appearance (loss of humanization).
- Partialized objects, strangers (lack of sexual and psychological differentiation).
- Rigid, devitalized movement, puppets, stick figures, defeated bodies, broken or missing relationship organs (attack on the motor apparatus)
- Bad insertion of the parts (integration failures).
- Lack of perspective and transparency (failure of primary repression).
- Front-profile confusion, zoomorphism, lack of trunk-genital area delimitation.
- In the house, misplaced openings.
- In the tree: lock tree, dissociated tree, fallen trees, dead, or with animals inside.
- Gestalt preserved (preservation of the reality test and the logical coherence of the secondary process).
- Generally large size (tendency to expand). Emphasis on musculature. Challenging aspect, exhibitionist (judgment of altered values), caricature (denial).
- Impulsive stroke, striking drawing, often naked, threatening or challenging movements.
D) Bordeline (border or border case)
Graphic production is similar to psychotic, while verbal production is neurotic and psychopathic (Piccolo).
- The graphics are similar to neurosis, but the subject gives the material evacuative meanings: it seeks to impact, paralyze, affectively mobilize the other. The stories (verbal production) are bulky and of little content (Piccolo).
- Several, "Notes of theoretical classes and practical works of the Chair of Projective Techniques" (Prof. Celener), University of Buenos Aires, School of Psychology, 1996.
- Hammer E., "Graphic projective tests", Paidós, 1997.
- Casullo M and Cayssials A., "Project of life and vocational decision", Paidós, Buenos Aires, 1994.
- Piccolo E., "Defenses in graphic tests", Editorial Paidós.
- Verthelyi et al., "Identity and link in the test of the two persons", Paidós, 1984, chapter II.